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Why Every Professional Audio Engineer involved in Film Should Own a Pair of Roku Speakers

Roku recently came out with a pair of wireless speakers to provide a better listening experience for their customers. While advertised as completely wireless they do require a power supply but that is to be expected. It would take someone who is really picky to complain about them not actually being “wireless.”

Through this article, we are going to take a look at the Roku Wireless Speakers, specifically at the the specs of them and some pros and cons.

Specs

So to start with the Roku Wireless Speakers cost $199.99 (unless there is a sale of course). With the standard package comes 2 speakers, 1 voice remote, 1 tabletop touch remote, and 2 power cables. The voice remote works similarly to a standard remote but has the voice command options for general commands for Roku. The tabletop remote can do most of what the voice remote can. With the Tabletop remote however, it has the ability to save shortcut buttons to open the media that you use most often.

 Roku TV Voice Remote (Left)

Roku Touch Tabletop Remote (Right)

 

The speakers themselves don’t take up much room but still aren’t “tiny.” The dimensions for them are 7.7” H x 4.9” W x 4.9” D. They each come out to a weight of 4 lb. and have 3.5” woofers and .75” tweeters. These are nice since you want them to be moved around easily and fit in small spaces that sound great but are almost inconspicuous at the same time.

Roku Wireless Speaker (blown apart)

 

For the connection of the wireless speakers the only option is to do it wireless. On the back there is not option for an input, there are only the pair and rest buttons beneath a threaded mounting socket that can be used for wall mounts or for floor stands.


Roku Wireless Speaker Rear View

Price

Size Weight Tweeter Sub Power Supply
$199.99 7.7” Height

4.9” Width

4.9” Depth

4 lbs. .75” 3.5”

100-240V

50-60 Hz AC

Pros and Cons

So starting with the positives, this product has quite a few. In all honesty, these speakers are better than 9 out of 10 soundbars, if only for the stereo aspect. Yes there is a spread for the sound when listening on a sound bar, but with 2 separate speakers not directly next to each other, you get a better stereo aspect and surround feel than with a sound bar. A sound bar is more of an imitation of stereo where as 2 separate speakers is true stereo. On top of that, the cost of these is fairly similar to a sound bar.

Involved with the Roku Wireless Speakers is an incredible option that can be accessed through the TV. Have you ever watched a show and the intro music comes on full blast making you run for the remote to turn it down? Then as you go back to the show the level drops to the point where you need to bring it back up? Or perhaps you’ve had to ride the volume level between an action scene and dialogue. These speakers have a setting that can be turned on where the output level is monitored and anything above a certain level is brought down in volume to match the rest of whatever content you are watching. Along with that is the option to reduce the “rumble.” This means that any low frequencies which can cause the floor or furniture to rumble will be reduced when you watch at night and don’t want to wake up that sleeping roommate.

If you are like me, you have had issues with voice control software listening and reacting to what you say when you do not intend it to. With the Roku remotes included, they only listen when you cue them up to. You have a lot of similar functions when it comes to media as you do with the Echo and Google Home.

Why These Speakers Could Be Important For Audio Engineers Working In Film

One of the best reasons you could possibly get the Roku Wireless Speakers for though is not to be up on the latest fad, or in touch with the newest technology; but instead to know what the consumer is actually using. Here is what I mean. These speakers are being advertised as some of the top of the line speakers for TV listening whether it be shows, movies, podcasts, or whatever. This is what the audience will be listening to. If you are a producer or engineer in film related audio, these speakers give you a glimpse into what your consumer will be hearing. Almost every engineer in music will do a “car test” where they bounce the track and listen to it in their car to see if it sounds good. The reason for that is because people will listen to music the most while driving or riding in the car. If it does not sound good in there, no one will want listen to it. The same goes with these speakers here. You want to test your mixes for film and video on these so that you know your consumer will be hearing your best.

Finally I come down to the biggest flaw that I have with these speakers. They are not compatible with any TV’s that are not Roku. Not even with a TV that has a Roku stick. If you do not know if you have a Roku TV you can check here. I understand where they are coming from with this idea, if they have great products that all work well together and only together, people will buy all of their products to work in unison. But they are cutting off an entire market of people who already have great TV’s and are looking for Bluetooth speakers compatible with a TV. My final remark, if you have a Roku TV, go for it they are definitely worth it, but if you don’t have a Roku TV, don’t go out and buy one just for these speakers.